Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

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Royal Newfoundland Constabulary
Abbreviation RNC
Shoulder flash of the RNC
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Logo.svg
Badge of the RNC
Motto "Safer Communities Through Policing Excellence"
Agency overview
Formed 1841
Preceding agency Newfoundland Constabulary (1729)
Employees 545 (2015) - 420 sworn members and 125 civilian members
Annual budget

Total RNC $60,043,208

Total Current $48,454,517 (2012-2013)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.svg
Map of Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's jurisdiction.
Population 526,702
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 1 Fort Townshend, St. John's
officers 420
civilians 125
Minister responsible The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Justice and Public Safety
Agency executive Bill Janes, Chief
Office or Detachments 7
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) is a police force in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It provides policing to the communities of St. John's and the Northeast Avalon Peninsula, Corner Brook, Churchill Falls, Labrador City, and Wabush.


The RNC dates back to 1729,[1] with the appointment of the first police constables. In the 19th century, the RNC was modelled after the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) with the secondment in 1844 of Timothy Mitchell of the Royal Irish Constabulary to be Inspector General, making it the oldest civil police force in North America. Mitchell served as Inspector General and Superintendent of Police until 1871, when the Newfoundland Constabulary was reorganized with a new Police Act.

Other officers recruited from the RIC to take command of the Newfoundland force included Thomas J. Foley, who served from 1871 to 1873, Paul Carty, who headed the RNC from 1873–1895, and John Roche McGowen, who served as constabulary Inspector General from 1895-1908.

In January 1909, John J. Sullivan became the first Newfoundland-born police chief of the RNC. He held that post until September, 1917.[2]

During World War II, the RNC pursued spies and criminal elements in the foreign military stationed at St. John's.[3] Their investigation into the 1942 Knights of Columbus Hostel fire has become popular knowledge.

In 1979, Queen Elizabeth II of Canada conferred the designation Royal on the Newfoundland Constabulary,[4] in recognition of its long history of service to Newfoundland and Labrador.

On May 3, 2005, the RNC made a formal exchange of colours with An Garda Síochána na hÉireann, one of the two successor forces to the old RIC. The exchange of colours was to mark the historic links between policing in Newfoundland and Ireland.


The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary serves alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is contracted by the provincial government to provide provincial and community policing services. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary services mainly major metropolitan areas while the RCMP serves smaller and remote rural areas.

The RNC polices the following areas:

Operating stations include:

  • St. John's - 3 locations: Headquarters, Patrol Services Division and Criminal Investigation Division
  • Mount Pearl - Satellite Office
  • Labrador City - Detachment
  • Corner Brook - Regional Office
  • Churchill Falls - Regional Office



The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary maintains a fleet of vehicles of models from several major automakers, such as models including but not limited to the following:

RNC Police Interceptor Ford Taurus


As a result of the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Arming Policy of the RNC, members on operational duty were permitted to wear sidearms starting June 14, 1998.[5] Previously, members were required to keep all firearms secured in the trunk of the police cruiser and were only deployed with permission from the Chief.


Following the death of Robert Dziekański at Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia in 2007, the use of Tasers by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has been halted.[6]

Mounted unit[edit]

The RNC has operated a mounted unit since 1873.[7]

The unit was created in 2003 replacing a voluntary unit. The unit's history can be traced back to three earlier units, the Newfoundland Constabulary Mounted Force 1873-1894, New Fire Brigade Mounted Force 1895-1922 and Newfoundland Constabulary 1922-1951.

The unit has four Percheron horses and four riders. Below is a list of the Percheron horses' names.

  • Dr. Rich
  • Townshend
  • Fraize
  • Dobbin


Marine Unit[edit]

RNC Marine unit dates back to the 1880s using the steam cruiser Fiona (c. 1887)[9]and now has 8 crew members patrolling the Newfoundland and Labrador coastline with the Canadian Coast Guard with 5 vessels.[10]

The current RNC Marine Unit RHIB is housed at the Rovers Search and Rescue Regional Training and Response Facility

See also[edit]


External links[edit]